Ethos Performing Arts is currently producing The Family Room, a dramedy about a family of therapists in therapy. Written by Emmy Award nominee Aron Eli Coleite and directed by Gwenyth Reitz, The Family Room plays through October 23rd at the ArcLight theatre on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. We sent Ethos’s head honchos some questions to learn what their organization is all about. Here’s what Ethos Artistic Director Christos Alexandrou and The Family Room Producer Steve Margetis had to say.
Photo is Christos Alexandrou, by Iakovos Kalaitzakis.
THEASY: What is Ethos’s mission?
CHRISTOS: Ethos Performing Arts is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all. Based in New York City, we strive to be premier promoters and organizers of artistic and quality events including but not limited to, theatre, music, film, etc.
STEVE: I’ve enjoyed New York’s independent theater offerings for many years. My background is not in theater; my professional career has been in banking and finance. I hope to bring a broader cross-section of the community into theater, both as audience members and participants in the creative process.
THEASY: How long have you been around, and why was the company created?
CHRISTOS: EPA has been a dream of ours for quite some time (pretty much since we came to the US 5 years ago) but it wasn’t until September of 2010 when we actually got our non-profit status. All this time we spent prior to the creation of EPA we researched, learned and tried to prepare ourselves as much as we possibly could, to be able to make our mission come true.
THEASY: What makes you different from other theatre companies in New York?
CHRISTOS: All our [company] members come from Greece, one way or the other, have travelled a lot, speak various languages, share many and various artistic influences and love what we do! One thing we all have in common is ethos (the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations).
THEASY: What are some of your past productions and company highlights?
CHRISTOS: As Ethos Performing Arts we debuted at the Kirk Theatre (Theatre Row) with a co-production of Oresteia by Aeschylus. Other highlights in this year included [a] stage reading of a new play, a re-enactment of Greek immigrants at Ellis Island, a fashion show and some events.
THEASY: What do you love about your upcoming production, The Family Room? Why did you choose to produce it? What can audiences expect from it?
CHRISTOS: I fell in love with the writing!! I have become a HUGE fan of Aron Eli Coleite’s. Steve Margetis brought the script to our attention. We receive a bunch of scripts for our consideration, but after reading it we were all on board! After meeting with [director] Gwenyth Reitz it was a no-brainer. Everything felt perfect. (I must say, it’s countless how many times we have said: “Great minds think alike!!” but we do finish each other’s sentences and think in a very similar manner).
STEVE: Aron’s script really came to life in my mind as I read it. I could imagine the scenes taking place, but I could also see the clever staging idea being implemented, the transitions from scene to scene, and the audience following intently. It was a story worth sharing, and an intimate New York theater would be the perfect venue. Audiences can expect an engaging story about growing up, growing old, falling in love, drifting apart, being too confident and not confident enough. In short, a play about themselves.
THEASY: What's next for Ethos? Where do you hope to be a few years down the road?
CHRISTOS: We have a few plays under consideration but we are also working on a big festival in the city; events, recitals, recordings, TV. My hope for EPA is to continue doing quality productions and even more wonderful collaborations than we have done so far.